Goodbye Blue Monday

Literary Tattoos: Kurt Vonnegut Illustrations Goodbye Blue Monday Breakfast of Champions

This is Tim‘s.

Literary Tattoos: Kurt Vonnegut Illustrations Goodbye Blue Monday Breakfast of Champions

This one belongs to Liberty.

 I thought it was a nice way to commemorate my favorite author.

Literary Tattoos: Kurt Vonnegut Illustrations Goodbye Blue Monday Breakfast of Champions

This is Liam’s.

while breakfast of champions is not my favorite vonnegut book, it is the first book that made me love reading. i was 15 and after every page i kept thinking, “i never knew books could be like this.” i read every single vonnegut book after that.

Literary Tattoos: Kurt Vonnegut Illustrations Goodbye Blue Monday Breakfast of Champions

This belongs to Joe.

Vonnegut was the first author that I ever felt a connection with and for a myriad of reasons I wanted a sketch of his to be my first tattoo.

Literary Tattoos: Kurt Vonnegut Illustrations Goodbye Blue Monday Breakfast of Champions

This one belongs to Kaylie.

Vonnegut uses the phrase “Goodbye Blue Monday” as a reaction to the absurdities of everyday life. He writes, “The motto of the old Robo-Magic washing machine cleverly confused two separate ideas people had about Monday. One idea was that women traditionally did their laundry on Monday. Monday was simply washday, and not an especially depressing day on that account. People who had horrible jobs during the week used to call Monday ‘Blue Monday’ sometimes, though, because they hated to return to work after a day of rest. When Fred T. Barry made up the Robo-Magic motto as a young man, he pretended that Monday was called ‘Blue Monday’ because doing laundry disgusted and exhausted women. The Robo-Magic was going to cheer them up. It wasn’t true, incidentally, that most women did their laundry on Monday at the time the Robo-Magic was invented. They did it any time they felt like it.”

With the invention of the Robo-Magic washing machine, women could finally say goodbye to their blue Mondays forever. “Off to the bridge club while my Robo-Magic does the wash! GOODBYE, BLUE MONDAY!”

Also in the novel, character Henry LeSabre paints “Goodbye Blue Monday” on the side of a bomb to be dropped on Hamburg, Germany. This corporation uses the slogan to manipulate women, just as our modern society use messages to manipulate us.

“Goodbye Blue Monday” is also the alternate title of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions.

Vonnegut Collage

It’s Saturday, and since you’ve all established exactly how much you enjoy So it Goes Saturdays, I’m going to take a break from that and post something a little different.  This dedicated fan has 9 tattoos from various Vonnegut works.

This post is image-heavy!

[Read more...]

Birdcage

Literary Tattoos: Kurt Vonnegut Illustrations Breakfast of Champions

Andy submitted this birdcage tattoo:

I got this pen-and-ink drawing by Kurt Vonnegut on my arm on January 3rd. The empty birdcage never appeared in any of his novels, but refers to a specific scene in Breakfast of Champions. The scene consists of the book’s main character, Kilgore Trout, trying to set free a pet bird he’s kept for years. When the bird refuses to leave the cage, Trout says something to the effect of “Good choice, Bill. Now you’ve still got something to wish for.”

The image first appeared as a silkscreen later in Vonnegut’s life, when he took up pen-and-ink drawing as a hobby. These were silkscreened in limited numbers and sold on Vonnegut’s website. It became the front page of his official website on the day he died.

I began reading Kurt Vonnegut when I was thirteen and found my way of thinking both reflected and transformed in his writing. He almost single handedly guided me through high school, and his death when I was sixteen felt like losing a grandparent. I chose the birdcage as a memorial because its stark, proud simplicity reminds me of everything I love about both his literary style and his philosophy. When set against the backdrop of his death, it conveys a sentiment not unlike the subtitle of his novel Slapstick: “Lonesome no more.”

Kurt Vonnegut’s “Asterisk”

Submitted by S.P. Sullivan:

Literary Tattoos: Kurt Vonnegut Breakfast of Champions

The tattoo is Kurt Vonnegut’s trademark “backdoor.”

I got this when I turned eighteen because I wanted to do something stupid and impulsive, but not entirely uncharacteristic of me. My father introduced me to Vonnegut; the first thing he said when he saw it was “you know that’s a sphincter, right?”

I’ve grown tired of explaining it to people, mostly because they usually look at me like I’m insane. So, when asked, I inquire to the inquirer, “Have you read Vonnegut?” If yes, it’s relatively easy to explain. If no, I just say it’s an asterisk and leave it at that. I’m often asked if it’s a botched attempt at the Red Hot Chile Peppers logo. So it goes.

Based on Kurt Vonnegut’s infamous asshole doodle, first appearing in Breakfast of ChampionsLiterary Tattoos: Kurt Vonnegut Breakfast of Champions .  There is an entire blog dedicated to this doodle:  here.